SUMMARY OF CHALLENGES FACED BY THE CITY OF MASVINGO
The City of Masvingo is the oldest urban settlement in Zimbabwe founded by the Pioneer Column in 1890 then called “Fort Victoria”. The City of Masvingo is the provincial capital of Masvingo Province.
The City is strategically located equidistant from all major cities in the country, 293km from the capital city Harare, 282km from Bulawayo, 289km from Beitbridge, the boarder with South Africa and 297km to Mutare in the eastern highlands bordering Mozambique. The city of Masvingo is often touted the umbilical cord that connects Zimbabwe to the South African Development Community region (SADC).
The municipal area measures 9,800 hectares. The population of the City of Masvingo according to the 2012 census was 87,886. We project that the population now stands around 105,000. Mucheke is the largest high density residential suburb located west of the city, with Rujeko located east and Rhodene (low density) located north of the city.
The Provincial Population stands at 1,485,090 with 9.8% of the population living in urban areas. Masvingo Province has a youthful population with the 15-24 year age group being 18.3% of the total provincial population and 15.9% being children under the age of 5 years. The proportion of the child population in the urban area stands at 40.9% with an average household size of 3.7. (Zimstat Census, 2012).
2.0 AUGMENTATION OF WATER SUPPLIES
The City abstracts its raw water from Lake Mtirikwi the second largest inland lake in the country located 20km from the City centre.
The major challenge facing the city is inadequate potable water supply arising from demand outstripping supply as a result of limitations on the installed capacity of 30ML/day against demand of 48ML/Day.
Demand for water will reach 60ML/Day by 2030. Plans have been put in motion to embark on a Water Augmentation Project to increase the water supply.
The works involve the construction of a duplicate water treatment plant and distribution system and expanding the Sewage Treatment Plant at a cost of USD 60 million financed by a long term loan (Government to Government loan).
A financial feasibility study carried by DHV Haskoning (formerly Stewart Scott International) is yet to be availed to Council owing to non-payment of consultancy fees amounting to ZAR 250,000.
We have been knocking at the doors of the Central Bank to allocate us foreign currency to access this important document which will be used to prepare a Prospectus to raise project finance.
3.0 WASTE MANAGEMENT
Refuse (garbage) collection is carried out daily in the Central Business District/institutions and once a week in all residential areas.
Owing to the foreign currency challenges facing the country, we are increasingly finding it difficult to procure new Refuse Collection equipment and spares.
We are therefore operating with three Refuse Compactors (2 with an average age of five years) and one which has served for more than seven years complemented by a fleet of three old tractors.
Council would appreciate assistance in the procurement of at least three Refuse Compactors of (12m³) capacity or bigger. The average cost of a UD Compactor is USD 154,000.
Solid Waste Disposal site
The existing Landfill site located in the western side of the City is overdue for decommissioning. It poses a very big threat to the residents’ health and environment.
An Environmental Impact Assessment has been carried out for the new Solid Waste Disposal Site. Council appeals for assistance to procure Disposal Site Management equipment as follows; Front End Loader USD 120,000, Bulldozer USD 300,000 and Incinerator USD 20,000.
4.0 SLUM UPGRADING
Council is actively pursuing partners to upgrade Mucheke Hostels. The project involves replacement of communal ablution facilities and creating a bathroom, toilet and washing sink basin for three families to share thus improving sanitation conditions for these residents. Council refurbished one hostel housing 12 families at a cost of $ 43,000 in 2018 and looks forward to upgrading the rest at an average cost of $80,000 per block.
The ultimate solution to low income groups is to engage partners to construct high rise flats. Land is available for the project.
5.0 REVIVAL OF TWINNING RELATIONSHIP WITH MIDDLESBROUGH COUNCIL
The City of Masvingo entered into a twinning relationship with the town of Middlesbrough in 1992.
The twinning relationship was very active in its formative years resulting in cultural exchange programmes and capacity building for our officers to strengthen local governance systems. Assistance to revive the twinning relationship would be most welcome.
The worsening economic situation characterised by double digit inflation and scarcity of foreign currency is likely to affect Council’s capacity to provide services to its residents and investment in infrastructure development.